Friday, December 2, 2011

Nanocrystals Polarised


Nanocrystals cheaper to catch Solar Power


Technion researchers polarize a nanometric-sized crystal by changing the composition of surrounding molecules. In the future, this could improve efficiency of 3G solar photovoltaic cells.

Technion researchers from the Sara and Moshe Zisapel Nano-Electronics Center successfully polarized a nanocrystal by changing the composition of the molecules surrounding it. This finding was just published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Materials.

Doctoral student, Nir Yaacobi-Gross, under the supervision of the head of the Zisapel Center, Prof. Nir Tessler, exchanged some of the molecules attached to the surface of the nanometric-sized crystal with different molecules whose chemical or atomic group anchoring them to the crystal’s surface was different. The researchers discovered that the lack of uniformity in the molecular covering caused the crystal to partially polarize. The research group led by Prof. Asher Schmidt of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry also contributed to understanding the molecule-crystal connection process. 

As the paper shows, this discovery will likely have far-reaching consequences in as far as significantly improving the efficiency of solar cells. These are 3G photovoltaic cells that are being intensively developed around the world due to their relatively low cost (and therefore, their suitability for mass production). The solar cells used today are mostly silicon based and are expensive both in terms of production costs and in the energy required to manufacture them. The discovery by the Technion researchers changes the ability of nanocrystals to receive or give electrons to material surrounding it, which essentially means that they have changed the crystal’s characteristics.
 “Nano crystals of different materials are used to develop new light sources and solar cells.”
 “Nano crystals of different materials are used to develop new light sources and solar cells,” explains Prof. Tessler. “The nanocrystal is produced in a solution, is about 2-8 nanometers in diameter and covered by an organic molecule that stabilizes it and allows the nanocrystal to be dissolved in the proper fluids. In this case the solution is actually an ink containing opto-electronic materials and hence today there is a lot of activity going on around the world designed to integrate these materials in the field of printed electronics that will produce sheets of lights or sheets of solar cells.”

The researchers emphasize that in order to enable the integration of these new materials in opto-electronic devices, it is important to achieve control over their characteristics so as to be able to relate to them as building blocks to be used in engineering an advanced device.

In the early stages of the research in the Zisapel Center, it was found that organic molecules could be used to move the relative location of the particle’s level of energy. What surprised the researchers at this stage was the fact that the most important factor in this move was the atom found at the end of the molecule, which connects to the nanocrystal. The researchers showed that not only can the energy levels of the nanocrystal be moved relative to materials or to other nanocrystals, but that it was possible to change areas of this tiny crystal (approximately 4 nanometers in size) relative to other areas. “This study showed that we had a crystal that is inorganic but surrounded by organic molecules such that it constitutes an entity that is a hybrid of organic and inorganic material,” stresses Prof. Tessler. This distinction requires a change in the theoretical approaches that analyze these crystals and ignore their organic part (the organic molecules attached to them), mostly because “it just contributes to creating a solution.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Proctor & Gamble seeks out Israel NANO


Procter & Gamble is aiming for innovation

Procter & Gamble Israel Innovation Center director Lital Asher says P&G is interested in becoming stronger in life sciences.

Globes
30 November 11 13:58, Gali Weinreb

Wouldn't it be nice and efficient if every time we brushed our teeth, our toothbrush told us if we had brushed well, how much plaque was on our teeth, and how many years we should expect to be able to keep our teeth, if we carry on the same way? It would be very nice, but how much would we be willing to pay for such a toothbrush?
"The secret is to bring such a technology to market, but to lower the price so that everyone could afford it," says Procter & Gamble Israel Innovation Center director Lital Asher.
Asher will attempt to interest the Israeli life sciences industry in consumer products in a lecture that is part of the "Healthcare Technological Innovation" course, which will take place December 12-14 at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Management, sponsored by the Israel Life Science Industry Organization, and organized by DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures managing general partner Dr. Benny Zeevi.

Read the full story

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NANO Engines Drive the Future


BGU: ‘Nano-engines’ can move forward, back
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
11/28/2011 05:19
Full story at the Jerusalem Post.

Findings could aid cancer research, medicine and technology.

Tiny bits of proteins necessary for cells to divide have been found by Israeli and German scientists to have an astonishing ability to go into reverse as if they were car-like “nanoengines.”

According to a 13-page article just published in the online edition of the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization Journal) and due to be published in the December 14 print edition, the discovery could be vital for the understanding of biological motors during cell division, not only for basic cell science but also for cancer research and biologically inspired nanotechnology in medicine and industry.

The new discoveries indicate the nanometersized molecular machines are much more powerful and versatile than previously thought.

Scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba who have been working with a group from George August University of Goettingen, Germany, made the discovery while working on motor proteins essential for cell division.

They found these “nanoengines” can drastically modify their speed and even switch direction when loaded with a cargo - something that was not realized until now.

Cell division is a key process in the development of organisms. During regular cell division, duplicated chromosomes of the mother cell are distributed into two daughter cells. This tightly regulated process is driven by specialized enzymes called motor proteins; prominent among them are the families of kinesins and dyneins. Until now, it was believed that each member of those families was structurally programmed for a defined directionality on its track, the microtubules of the cytoskeleton. One class of motors was believed to generate motion toward the cell poles and another toward the cell equator.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Haick files: 'Electronic nose' that can sniff out cancer in patients' breath | Mail Online

'Electronic nose' that can sniff out cancer in patients' breath | Mail Online

Electronic nose: A nanosensor array inside the device screens for cancer via breath testing


An 'electronic nose' has been developed that can sniff out cancer in patients' breath.
The device can distinguish between people with the disease and healthy individuals.
Scientists believe the breath test could be especially useful for patients with head-and-neck cancers which are often diagnosed late.


The Israeli researchers collected breath samples from 82 people who either had head-and-neck cancer, lung cancer, or were cancer-free.
Lead researcher Professor Hossam Haick, from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, said: 'There's an urgent need to develop new ways to detect head-and-neck cancer because diagnosis of the disease is complicated, requiring specialist examinations.

'We've shown that a simple 'breath test' can spot the patterns of molecules which are found in head-and-neck patients in a small, early study.
'We now need to test these results in larger studies to find if this could lead to a potential screening method for the disease.'

Professor Hossam Haick pioneered the device. He said there was an urgent need for an early detector of head and neck cancer


The Nano Artificial NOSE device was even able to detect differences between head-and-neck cancer and lung cancer patients.
The study is published in the Journal of Cancer Research, which is owned by Cancer Research UK.
Dr Lesley Walker, the charity's head of cancer information, said: 'These interesting initial results show promise for the development of a breath test to detect head-and-neck cancers which are often diagnosed at an advanced stage.
'But it's important to be clear that this is a small study, at a very early stage, so many more years of research with patients will be needed to see if a breath test could be used in the clinic.'
Each year about 8,700 people are diagnosed with head-and-neck cancer in the UK.
The disease includes a range of tumour types occurring in the tissues and organs in the head and neck, for example salivary glands and mucus membranes.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1378745/Electronic-nose-sniff-cancer-patients-breath.html#ixzz1RRigNpbR

Haick Files: Irish Dentist.ie | News | New device sniffs out oral cancer

Irish Dentist.ie | News | New device sniffs out oral cancer

Scientists have revealed that an ‘electronic nose' can distinguish between molecules found in the breath of head and neck cancer patients and those of healthy people, according to the results of a small, initial study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Researchers from Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology – collected breath samples from 82 people from three groups: head and neck cancer patients, lung cancer patients and healthy people.

The team examined the differences in the molecules present in the exhaled breath of each group using tailor-made detection equipment called the Nano Artificial NOSE (NA-NOSE).

The NA-NOSE was able to distinguish between molecules found in the exhaled breath of head and neck cancer patients and healthy volunteers. It also distinguished between lung cancer patients and healthy controls, and between head and neck and lung cancer groups.

Lead researcher and inventor of the NA-NOSE, Professor Hossam Haick, said: ‘There is an urgent need to develop new ways to detect head and neck cancer. Detection of the disease is complicated, requiring specialist examinations and the disease is often diagnosed late.'

The device is in the early stages of being readied for commercialisation through the Alfred Mann Institute of the Technion, a non-profit organisation to bridge the gap between biomedical invention and the creation of commercially successful medical products that improve and save lives.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

International NANO students


"I hope that my research will be another small step in the journey of mankind towards the nano revolution."

We think out of the box


They see the future, and they hold it in their hands. Synthesizing knowledge and skills between different faculties, they bridge research labs and create something new. They are the graduate students of the new generation: the nano generation.

New structures like the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) move with the scientific and technological needs of tomorrow, facilitating intense multidisciplinary activity to rapidly and effectively give form to new frontiers of research. This is a vision that thinks 'out of the box', and over 300 graduate students at the Norman Seiden International Interdisciplinary Graduate School for Nano Science and Technology form a dynamic part of the ongoing revolution. Beyond their unity with RBNI's high standards of excellence, these students are facilitators of collaboration, each pioneering whole new areas of nanoscience and technology. 

Yael Pascal-Levy is in her fifth semester as a PhD student in the program where she works under the supervision of Dr. Yuval Yaish and Prof. Yoav Eichen.

"I hope I will be able to demonstrate the electrical detection and identification of single biological molecules using carbon nanotube field-effect transistors," she says. "The ability to make such highly sensitive and selective measurements, if could lead to enormous breakthroughs in DNA analysis, groundwater monitoring, clinical diagnostics and fundamental studies of physical and chemical phenomena at the single molecule level."

RBNI Phd Student Yael Pascal Levy




We've got the essence.

Could traditional industry be impacted by an understanding of how fluids move at the nanoscale? Could laboratories be replaced by a single chip, of 1cm2? By controlling fluids at the tiniest scale, scientists are taking mechanical engineering to the nano-dimension.



Miniaturized micro- and nano-fluidic based diagnostic chips, sensors, batteries, stem-cell separation - these are just some applications unfolding at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. New faculty member Dr. Gilad Yossifon and his team at the Micro- and Nano-Fluidic Devices Laboratory promises to transform membrane, interface and colloid sciences in the service of energy, medicine, and the environment.

With the advent of nanofabrication technology, says Yossifonscientists can now produce well-controlled nanofluidic structures. My specialty is in electrokinetics, i.e. the interaction of fluids with electric fields, at the micro- and nano-scale. I can manipulate fluids and particles (e.g. cells, biomolecules) by applying electric fields, he says.

As a source of expertise on nanofluidics, Yossifon attracts graduate students from the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) who find diverse applications for the nano know-how, from single-molecule (e.g. DNA) manipulation, lab-on-a-chip, integrated nanofluidic circuits, artificial ion-channels, and energy conversion.

“Technion gives someone like me the tools to do truly interdisciplinary research,” he says. Raised in Beersheva, Yossifon whose recruitment to Technion was made possible by the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundationis a second generation of Technion mechanical engineering graduates. “I understood very early on that I was attracted to engineering, through the living example in the house. You get it by diffusion...”


Fuel cells, diagnostic chips, sensors, stem-cell separation - these are just some applications unfolding at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Gilad Yossifon and his team at the Micro and Nano Fluidic Devices Laboratory promises to transform membranes science in the service of energy, medicine and the environment.
With the advent of nanofabrication technology, says Yossifon, scientists can now fabricate well-controlled nanochannel structures. "My specialty is on the interaction of fluids with electric fields. I can manipulate fluids by applying electric fields," he says.
As a source of knowhow on nanofluidics, Yossifon attracts graduate students from the Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) who find diverse applications for the nano know-how -, from DNA sequencing, lab on a chip, sensors and energy science.
"Technion gives one like me the tools to do truly interdisciplinary research," he says. Raised in Beersheva, 


Yossifon is
the son of a teacher and a scientist. "I understood very early on that I was attracted to engineering, through the living example in the house. You get it by diffusion..."



Dr. Gilad Yossifon